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Chestnut wood

by 12strings
posted 05-29-2012 04:17 PM


23 replies so far

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12strings

433 posts in 1128 days


#1 posted 05-29-2012 04:20 PM

Also, I’m only guessing it is a chestnut from pictures of the spiny balls I found online…It might be something else…any ideas? (The balls are much sharper than those found on a Gum tree)

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11445 posts in 1750 days


#2 posted 05-29-2012 04:39 PM

Well its probably not an American Chestnut tree, i believe that there are on 12 remaining amercian chestnuts in north america. You might have some sort of hybrid chestnut, but if it is indeed and american chestnut … wow that would be amazing.

American chestnut was very abundant in early amerciana, prior to 1910 or so, then the chestnut blight was introduced to this conuntry and it wiped out almost every last one. You can still plant them but they will only grow to about 6”-8” in diameter before the blight gets em. Chestnut was used for framing lumber and is fairly similar to oak in looks. Reclaimed chestnut goes for a good sum of money, $12/ft -ish.

Id urge you to do some more investigation on the tree you have in your yard. With a few pics some of the folks around here could probably identify the tree.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Sirgreggins's profile

Sirgreggins

292 posts in 979 days


#3 posted 05-29-2012 04:40 PM

Horse chestnuts are crazy. The spikey ball is nothing to mess with. My older brother used to throw them at me. I’m a newbie wood worker so i say salvage whatever wood you can. let it dry out for a good long time

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1008 days


#4 posted 05-29-2012 09:01 PM

I’m going to guess a sweetgum since no one else is :-)

They have these things which cover the ground (I have this tree in my backyard and it drops hundreds of these things):

Otherwise, if it’s not those, it’s probably a chestnut of some sort.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

1916 posts in 934 days


#5 posted 05-29-2012 09:29 PM

If it is chestnut, it’s worth a good deal of money. Here in Pennsylvania there are saw mills that would love to take that off your hands, and you would be handsomely reimbursed.
Golden rule number 23, never let go of any wood in your possession, unless of course you are paid enough for it so as to be able to purchase plenty of the type you prefer.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View bent's profile

bent

311 posts in 2413 days


#6 posted 05-29-2012 11:03 PM

buckeyes have a spikey nut that looks simiar to chestnuts. have you ever opened one up?

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Jim Finn

1740 posts in 1666 days


#7 posted 05-29-2012 11:11 PM

“Liquidambar” is another tree with those kind of spikey fruits.

-- In God We Trust

View Milo's profile

Milo

862 posts in 2063 days


#8 posted 05-30-2012 12:09 PM

Can you post a picture of the tree and the nuts?

If it IS a chestnut, I will sacrificially offer my time and talents to come to your yard an meticulous remove it for you! Won’t cost you a sent, and you won’t have to worry about A THING!

;)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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Chrrriiis

22 posts in 937 days


#9 posted 05-30-2012 12:16 PM

Traditional chestnuts aren’t so spikey as furry i think, with smaller more densly packed spines than those in the photo.

-- Hear today, gone tomorrow

View 12strings's profile

12strings

433 posts in 1128 days


#10 posted 05-30-2012 01:45 PM

After more online research and leaf comparisons, Here’s what I know:

-It’s not a Sweetgum or horsechestnut, it’s definitely some kind of chestnut,
-the outer burs are razor sharp, with sometimes multiple smal nuts inside…I haven’t found any with what look to be good quality nuts, they are all somewhat smashed and seemed pretty small. The nuts I found were kind of fuzzy, didn’t look good for eating.
-The tree is at least 30-40ft tall (Not a good estimator, probably about 15 feet higher than the peak of my one-story house. Probalby 18-20 inches diameter at the bottom.
-The stems have some tiny white bumps on them right now, as well as long 3-4 inch bud-type things extending from the twigs among the regular leaves.
-Right now I’m leaning toward either chinese chestnut, or some chinese-american hybrid.

Do you think a local lumber yard would come get it? I know of two in my area.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

1100 posts in 1723 days


#11 posted 05-30-2012 01:53 PM

Chestnut trees are abundant here in the UK, both Horse chestnut and seet chestnut. looking at the fruits it is not a Horse chestnut (we used to play conkers with the hard bean type nut encased in the spiney husk), it could be a sweet chestnut though.

The tanins in the timber corrode iron tools, so don’t leave you tools without cleaning them off before you put them away. The timbner It looks similar to oak, I actually think it looks better because of the colour variations, dark, yellows, light/dark browns with wilder grain patterns

Horse chestnuthttp://www.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&q=horse%20chestnut&gbv=2&gs_l=hp.1.0.0l10.2312.5531.0.8375.14.9.0.5.5.0.125.611.2j4.6.0...0.0.To2Efkcz7iI&sa=X&oi=image_result_group

Sweet chestnuthttp://www.google.co.uk/images?q=sweet+chestnut&hl=en&gbv=2&gs_l=hp.1.0.0l10.2312.5531.0.8375.14.9.0.5.5.0.125.611.2j4.6.0...0.0.To2Efkcz7iI&oq=sweet+chestnut&aq=0&aqi=g10&aql=

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1667 days


#12 posted 05-30-2012 02:44 PM

Your county extension agent could probably have someone come over and positively I>D> the tree. They could also tell you if anyone would be interested in buying it. If it is a true Chestnut(not likely) it would be valuable.

-- Life is good.

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12strings

433 posts in 1128 days


#13 posted 05-30-2012 02:48 PM

I’m assuming by “true” chestnut, you mean american…if so you are right, it seems they are very rare…I’m pretty confident now that it is some kind of chestnut, either Chinese, european, or hybrid. Definitly not Horsechestnut.

I e-mailed one lumber mill, so we’ll see what they say.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1667 days


#14 posted 05-30-2012 11:30 PM

Yes 12, you are correct I meant American. Should have clarified that.
What kind of 12 string you got?

-- Life is good.

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1009 posts in 2229 days


#15 posted 05-31-2012 12:01 AM

what Howie said. Your local agent should know immediately. Or send a sample leaf or two and fruit to your State University College of Agricultural Science, or Forestry. Free and accurate identification.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11445 posts in 1750 days


#16 posted 05-31-2012 12:16 AM

I did some poking around and there are 27 mature american chestnuts in the us and they are all owned by the government. Removal of an american chesnut can earn hefty fines too. Id call the local agricultural atation and have them come out to take a peek. You got me interested 12stringer.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View MichaelR's profile

MichaelR

42 posts in 1173 days


#17 posted 05-31-2012 12:23 AM

Before you cut it down have it positively identified. If it’s native American Chestnut and healthy it’s worth an awful lot from a scientific standpoint. I’ll never see large stands of Chestnut but I would like for my grandchildren to have access to that lumber.

http://www.acf.org/find_a_tree.php

View derosa's profile

derosa

1557 posts in 1579 days


#18 posted 05-31-2012 02:37 AM

Chrisstef- is the government just claiming ownership of all american chestnuts or are all the known on government land?
A local here has a chestnut tree that has been hit with the blight badly enough that it should now come down. He believes that he will get one last load of chestnuts off of it though. He’s already agreed to turn over a bag of chestnuts for replanting, I figure for it to have made it this long it must have some degree of resistance and is worth planting the nuts. A local conservation group will be getting most of them for this purpose. I hope some of the wood will be useable when it comes down but I don’t know what the cankers do to the quality of the trunk. If anything can be salvaged I’ll be doing so even if it is just some turning pieces.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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12strings

433 posts in 1128 days


#19 posted 05-31-2012 04:27 AM

I will probably need some time to figure out exactly what I have, but I will update you all, even if it’s a few weeks or more…

btw, I play a yamaha 12string guitar, an Ibanez Acoustic 6-string, congas, egg-shakers, piano, euphonium, and 6 irish tin-whistles…

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11445 posts in 1750 days


#20 posted 06-01-2012 12:26 AM

derosa – im pretty sure they claim ownership wherever they are standing, i think i got my info off of wood web, im gonna do a little hunting. I will admit it was internet info so reliability is as such.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Milo's profile

Milo

862 posts in 2063 days


#21 posted 06-01-2012 01:09 AM

Absolutely make sure you save as much of the fruit from that tree as you can. I blight resistant chestnut is worth it’s weight in gold to researchers.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1207 posts in 1220 days


#22 posted 06-01-2012 01:27 AM

If the leaves are fuzzy on the bottom, it is chinese chestnut. I don’t suspect there is a market for it, especially as it is a yard tree, and most sawmills will not buy a yard tree because they always have metal in them. You could take it to someone with a portable sawmill and have them saw it up for you.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1008 days


#23 posted 06-01-2012 02:57 PM

Or they could take the sawmill to you. Just be ready to pay if they hit metal and damage a blade.

It’s why I have a metal detector in my toolkit. 180 link .063 chain isn’t cheap to replace.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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